NBD: Sterling by Music Man StingRay Ray5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassist4dalord, Nov 20, 2021.

  1. IMG_7336.jpg

    Is any day better than new gear day? I'm so excited to enjoy this new 5-string! A little backstory. This is my twelfth bass in 15 years of playing. It's my third 5-string, my second active bass and my first maple fretboard. It's also my first StingRay and I am blown away! I picked it up Friday on my lunch break and it will make its debut at church tomorrow morning.

    I ordered it from Guitar Center Used Gear Online. It was at GC Boardman, OH. The bass was marked Used - Excellent Condition (more on that later) and was listed for $299.00. I paid $351.xx altogether with tax and shipping; I paid $5 extra for 2-day shipping. The order was placed on Tuesday at 10:30 PM and it arrived Friday.

    I went to my local GC on Friday to pick it up. They opened the box and it was in a foam sleeve in the original SBMM box, which was a good sign. It still had the plastic on the pickguard! I plugged it in and checked operation of electronics and slowly came to the realization that this was a "new" bass; likely a floor demo model. As I looked over the instrument to make sure it was in Excellent condition I noticed two gouges on the top of the arm contour, towards the backside of the instrument (I'll post photos later). I played the bass and enjoyed everything about it. I brought the marks to the attention of one of the store managers and he offered some money credited back to my card. I was happy to accept. Please Note: Once you see the photos I understand that many of you would return the bass. I made peace with the damage and decided to keep the bass. I am content and happy with it, and I do not intend the return the bass.

    So anyway, back to the bass. I haven't weighed it yet but it feels very nice; not too heavy, not too light. There is noticeable neck dive when seated which brings me to my first (and really only) gripe with the bass- the tuners. They will be the first (and possibly only) modification down the road. They just don't feel solid, and I'd like to lighten the load at the end of the neck. I installed a set of Dunlop Strap Locks on the bass as that is what my strap has.

    The tone of this bass is incredible, even with the factory strings. I may need to adjust the pickup height but I'll wait until I play it at church. Initial impressions show the B-string to be pretty hot. I ordered a set of my favorite rounds for it (DR Pure Blues) and will install those tonight.

    The neck dimensions are INCREDIBLE. It feels like a 4-string neck! Of course, the drawback is tight string spacing. It's been a few years since I've had a 5er but I'll pick it up over time. I'm not worried about it. The neck feels unfinished, which is a departure from anything I've owned before. I can tell some of the frets could use a little dressing but I'll put that on my list for down the road.

    I'll keep this thread updated as I get more acquainted with the bass. Thanks for reading!
    Raman, dave64o, Dr. Cheese and 22 others like this.
  2. Super cool man! I have a Ray35 similar to that and it's one of my very favorites to play. Enjoy!
    eriky4003 and bassist4dalord like this.
  3. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    Nothing like a nice StingRay5….. my favorite bass!! Enjoy !! :hyper::thumbsup:
    Dr. Cheese, Matty Koff and Yahboy like this.
  4. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Congrats, string spacing looks fine!

    More photos? :)
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    JRA, Doctor Morbius and musicman556 like this.
  6. thisheregiraffe


    Aug 24, 2019
    Congrats, that’s a sweet looking bass, dings and all! If it plays and sounds good then I would keep it too :) :thumbsup:
  7. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    Now you don’t have to worry about it getting dinged .
  8. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    You are so bad.
    Stingray 5 special Vs sub ray5.
    lowdownthump likes this.
  9. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    I have a tip for great string to string output balance from bommy B string issue on this sub ray5 which been discussed lot at TB here.

    Start with medium action setup. Check point at 18th fret.
    B = 2.75mm
    E = 2.5mm
    A = 2.25mm
    D and G = 2.0mm

    Later, fine tune the pickup heights.

    On my previous sub ray5, I able set the action low to 1.75mm on B to 1.25mm on G with no single fretbuzz. Yah, great fretwork from factory compare to Indonesian made Squier CV bass.
    I also adjust the pickup rod to match the neck radius to get well string to string output balance .

    But, that is take much time to work with.

    And I found the first action setup I mention just work well with stock flush pole piece pup.

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
    Raman, lowdownthump and musicman556 like this.
  10. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    I honestly think that there is good MusicMan tone to be had at every level of their offerings.

    I played an entry level navy blue passive SUB that I liked years ago.

    Had a US SUB 2 band that captured the Pre Ernie Ball goodness.

    Played an outstanding black ash Sterling Ray34 with roasted neck this week.

    Those passive Sterling StingRay short scales are very impressive .

    And yes…..for me, my StingRay5 Special is the jewel in my collection.
  11. truand85

    truand85 Zig Zag Wanderer

    Nov 11, 2021
    Phoenix, AZ
  12. jimmydean


    Mar 14, 2009
    Nice bass and if your good with dings ....all is well . I just bought a Sterling short scale Monday at GC and it sounds so good , I'm seriously thinking about selling my other two basses I just bought in the past couple of months and being a one bass guy again .
    bassist4dalord and lowdownthump like this.
  13. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014

    Haven't played a SUB or an actual EBMM Stingray.. but a guy I played with briefly had a Sterling Ray 34 that he got for his son. Thing had a ton of yum factor.

    Nice bass OP. Hope it brings you joy.
    bassist4dalord and lowdownthump like this.
  14. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff Inactive

    Aug 21, 2014
    I forgot to mention.. this seems blasphemous. :smug:
  15. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    I wouldn’t return it, but I certainly would have asked for a further discount as it was advertised as excellent condition, and truth in advertising would have listed it as very good, to good condition depending on the severity of the gouges.

    They have their condition definitions listed on the used gear site. Pick a piece of gear and select quick view, then click on the definition link. For gear that arrives in a condition less than advertised, I’d ask for at least the return of the shipping charge. You may not get it, and or it may only be store credit towards another purchase, but I always ask.

    It’s been a while since since I’ve bought used gear from GC, so things may have tightened up, but I’d at least give it a shot. Going forward, like you, I’ve always had gear set to the local store. Then if there is an issue with the condition, they can’t say you damaged the instrument.

    Congrats on the new bass. You got a good deal as it is however,
    bassist4dalord likes this.
  16. Yeah I had the bass shipped to store and made sure to open it and plug it in before leaving. Thank you!
    dbsfgyd1 likes this.
  17. Sunday Morning gig report- this bass kicks! It sounds great in the mix. I love the feel of it, too. There’s just something about a single-pickup bass that inspires me to play differently. Plus I actually really love the freedom of not worrying about pickup balancing. This is straightforward and it’s beautiful. With this being my first active bass in 10 years I really, really appreciated the 2-band EQ. I feel like it gave me just enough adjustability to tweak my sound. Really awesome.

    The Pure Blues I installed last night were a great choice. Definitely my favorite roundwound and seriously worth a consideration if you’re on the fence.
    Raman, TrustRod and truand85 like this.
  18. DrThumpenstein

    DrThumpenstein Living for the groove Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2015
    St Louis, MO
    Congratulations on your new Ray. I have its twin and I love the way it plays and sounds. It’s currently my only 5er and I’m a jazz-width guy, so I felt at home pretty quickly when I got it earlier this year. Mine just needed the relief, pickup and string height, and intonation set up, a little fret dressing. The strings had great balance and it was easy to set up (It was a buzz-machine with a back-bowed neck when I first picked it up at the local GC, but at least I got the chance to make sure the truss rod worked when the tech got it playable.

    I love the neck and tone of that bass. You have a couple of options to make those dings less noticeable, and I’m with you, it’s too nice of a bass to let a little ding like that get in the way. Nice score!!
    bassist4dalord likes this.
  19. Thank you for the kind words! What do you suggest with regards to the dings? I’m not in any hurry to get them fixed but I’m considering options.
    DrThumpenstein likes this.
  20. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    IME/IMO it starts with the neck --- if the neck is in order (the right fit) = all of the other stuff can be made to obey!

    that ax is incredibly good looking, @bassist4dalord! nice score --- congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup: